When you have dentures, dental care looks a little differently than it does for everyone else. Despite these differences, there are several important rules you should be following to maintain your dental hygiene.
We have three easy steps you can take to prolong the life of your dentures.
This may seem simple enough, but it’s easy to overlook the importance of brushing dentures. Even though they are not natural teeth, they can still become stained and grow bacteria. Dentures also have surface pores that, though they may not be visible at first glance, can develop pockmarks where bacteria can grow. Brushing can help prevent these problems.
When brushing your dentures, remember:
- Use a soft-bristled brush, as hard bristles can cause scratches on the denture material
- Do not use denture cleaners inside your mouth
- Brush your dentures daily, after every meal ideally
- Do not bend or damage your denture clasps while cleaning
- Do not use any products containing bleach
- Be aware that too hot water can warp dentures
- Always rinse dentures before putting them back in your mouth
Brushing helps eliminate some of the bacteria that can cause oral or dental issues. While every mouth does have germs, mouths have a built-in immune system to combat infection whereas denture material does not. Failing to brush can lead to damage on the surface of your dentures.
Soaking your dentures is vital to retaining their shape and keeping them from drying out. Dentures can be soaked in both water and denture-friendly solutions, though denture cleaners will help your dentures stay free of germs and keep them moisturized. The time dentures should soak can range from a few hours to overnight. Read the instructions on your denture cleaner to determine the right length of time for you.
For those with dentures, bad breath is a common problem. Not only do dentures harbor bacteria more than natural teeth, your mouth tends to be drier with dentures. Saliva is the first line of defense for your mouth, and harmful bacteria are far likelier to impact you with less saliva. Soaking your dentures keeps them from becoming too dry, and denture cleaners are formulated to fight off germs that can be present in your dentures.
Soaking also prevents your dentures from staining permanently. Similar to natural teeth, substances like nicotine can stain your dentures. Regularly soaking your dentures helps prevent stains from developing in the denture material that cannot be removed.
3. Go to your dentist
One study showed only 19% of denture wearers remember their dentist’s instructions to come back for regular checkups. Failing to keep up with your denture health can result in oral health problems or damaging your dentures to the point of needing a new set.
If your dentures ever become ill-fitting, you should seek dental care as soon as possible. Dentures that do not fit can cause irritation, sores and infection. Dental adhesives are intended to hold dentures in place and to create a seal where food cannot get in, and should not be used as the first line of defense against loose dentures.
Even those who care for their dentures meticulously should know they don’t last forever. Dentures should be replaced every five to seven years, so if it’s approaching the time for you to replace yours, it may be time for a trip to the dentist.
Are you due for a denture checkup, or are you ready to find an alternative for your dentures?
Contact Drs. Davis and Matthews can help you keep your dentures in good shape or discuss options if your dentures are becoming a hassle.